Miscalculations
by Elizabeth Mansfield, regency (2000)
Jove, $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12834-1


Stupid hero, stereotypical but okay heroine. That's what I would say when I'm asked to sum up Miscalculations, a light-hearted superlong Regency romance by this popular author. Since I'm not a full-time Regency reader, I may be missing the point altogether, but I still find this book just adequate as entertainment.

Heroine Jane Douglas is left poor because her impractical Daddy died without teaching her feminine arts (he teaches her numbers and business, isn't that unique of that man?). So now she has a mommy and younger sister to support. Gee, what a unique dilemma. So she gets herself hired as a man of affairs at Lady Kettering's holdings.

Lady Kettering is a woman ahead of her time, but her son Lucian is a moron who wastes money on wine, women, clothes, and horses. When Jane opens her big mouth and suggests that maybe Lucian is a moron because he isn't given any opportunity to shoulder responsibilities (mom runs the show, you see), Lady Martha thinks, "Golly gee, that's it!" and gives Lucian Jane's responsibilities. She can get a few months off, and her salary would be doubled, but Jane, instead of rejoicing, puts on a sour face.

Is it me or these romance heroines are becoming more and more unintelligent by the day?

Lucian isn't happy either, but hey, he shapes out. By the end, that is. Along the way, he complains that his life is being stifled, etc etc etc. Understandable, of course, but that's no excuse for him to be so stupid as to dangle to the villain's every tune and machinations. And Jane, well, she's the typical spunky Regency heroine who knows her numbers better than waltzing or kissing or anything a smart heroine should know. She's more a nanny than lover to Lucian, but too bad there's no kinky nanny-charge sexual fantasies carried out here.

What's left is a pretty passionless story where verbal exchanges substitute hot caresses. The author writes repartees and humor well, but still, the hero's a twit and the heroine's too trite for words.

Rating: 68


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